CSU, Chico News

Three Young Pianists Win Prizes for their Artistry in 13th Annual Kruschke Piano Competition

Date: 03-14-2011

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Natalya Shkoda
Department of Music

California State University, Chico’s School of the Arts presented the final-round of the 13th annual Earl R. and Marilyn Ann Kruschke Prize in Piano Performance Competition Saturday, March 5. The competition is open to outstanding high school, community college and university music students throughout California and is judged by an outside judge. Natalya Shkoda, assistant professor of piano and coordinator of Keyboard Studies at CSU, Chico, directs the competition.

The first-place prize went to Ariadne Antipa, student of Professor Richard Cionco, CSU, Sacramento. The second-place prize went to Naoko Terakado, student of Professor Shkoda, CSU, Chico. And the Ernesto Lecuona Award went to Megumi Ito, also a student of Shkoda’s. (Left: Megumi Ito, Ernesto Lecuona Award winner; Right: Naoko Terakado, second-place winner)

Six finalists from a preliminary round were chosen to compete in the competition. They prepared a program of two solo pieces representing two of four musical styles: Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary.

Terakado and Ito, second prize and special prize recipients, respectively, are from CSU, Chico. Terakado is an international student from Japan majoring in recording arts and general music at CSU, Chico. This is her fourth semester at CSU, Chico. She has been studying with Professor Shkoda for a little more than a year. She recently received second place in the North State Symphony Young Artist Auditions 2011.

Terakado said of her teacher, “Thanks to the enthusiastic and thorough instruction of Dr. Shkoda, I rediscovered joy in playing the piano, which I had learned for 10 years in Japan and quit five years ago.”

Ito, an international student from Japan, is majoring in recording arts at CSU, Chico. She has been taking piano lessons from Professor Shkoda since fall 2009. She received the special prize in last year’s competition and is a recipient of Jane Bowman Jewett and John Svec Memorial Keyboard Award Scholarships.

In 2009, under the guidance of Shkoda, the competition went through major changes in both its structure and content. It became a statewide competition for high school, community college and university music students. A preliminary round was added for which the contestants submit application materials and a five-minute unedited video recording. The final round consists of a required repertoire.

Shkoda relied on two decades of experience as a contestant, teacher and adjudicator to create a professional competition. “I wanted to make the Kruschke competition a high-level, exciting and memorable piano event,” said Shkoda.

Antipa received $2,000 for first place, awarded by Marilyn Kruschke. Terakado received $500 for second place, and Ito received $100 for the special prize. Terakado’s and Ito’s prizes were awarded by Dustin Breshears, president of the Music Teachers' Association of California, Butte Chapter, and a former winner of the competition.

“I am extremely thankful to our wonderful sponsors who continue supporting the competition all these years,” added Shkoda.

For more information, please visit the official Kruschke Competition website at http://www.csuchico.edu/mus/kruschke.shtml or contact Shkoda at 530-898-4043.